Built up around clusters of tiny islands, connected only by an array of bridges, Venice is so cleverly and beautifully crafted, it looks and feels as if it’s floating on water. This illusion of ‘floating’ is part of what makes the city so alluring – the waters of the Adriatic are always in sight, lapping against the walkways and buildings, waiting to encroach.
It’s easy to fall in love with Venice (and possibly even fall in love in Venice). The city’s splendour is beguiling and intoxicating – the moment you spy the gondoliers navigating the Grand Canal, you will be hooked and you won’t want to leave. This Venice update is brought to us by ManAboutWorld correspondent Phil Rake.
But the most thrilling way to experience Venice, is to wander the different sestieri (or neighbourhoods) and allow yourself to get lost amongst the narrow thoroughfares and maze-like alleyways. Secret courtyards decked in marble, hidden gardens that overlook the canal, and secluded passageways that lead to stunning vistas – you’ll be amazed at what you can discover.
But it’s what’s above the surface that will truly enthral you. The city has some of the most grand architectural structures you will ever see, like the Byzantine inspired Basilica di San Marco and the Venetian-Gothic Doge’s Palace – products of its affluence and of a time when Venice was the principle trading hub between Europe and Asia. The city is also renowned for its art and culture, with the legacies of famous Venetians like Vivaldi, Tintoretto, Titian and Andrea Palladio living on in and around, not only Venice, but also the world at large. Whether your a fan of classical music, opera, history, art or cuisine, you won’t be short of things to see or do in Venice.
Venice is exceptionally pretty, so there is never a bad time to visit. In the Spring and Summer, the sun infuses the city with a warmth and glow, lighting up the buildings like radiant treasures. However, like the French Riviera, Venice in the high season gets unbelievably busy, so prepare yourself for the crowds. If you aren’t put off by the drop in temperature, then you should definitely visit in the colder months, as there is a haunting beauty to Venice at this time of year, especially when it’s misty. There is also a greater chance of experiencing the fabled acqua alta or high tides, which flood parts of the city (thereby creating opportunities for some potentially amazing photos).
View of the Chiesa di San Geremia from the Grand Canal
Regardless of when you visit, Venice is one of those places you can’t help falling in love with. Like a kiss from a handsome Gondolier, this city will take your breath away and you won’t be able to resist its charm.
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